The “West of Koreatown” flagship of Korean food, Gyenari in Culver City, is doing something rather special. Headed by Debbie Lee – of The Next Food Network Star fame, also Hatchi Series alum – they’re offering a Southern Korean-inspired menu. You can tailor your own prix fixe menus according to whatever and however much may suit your fancy. Starting with 3 courses for just $20 – diners can go as big as 12 courses for a not-so-steep $79. And with a menu divided up into “raw,” “salads & porridge,” “small bites,” “seafood,” “Ssam BBQ,” etc. – there’s a little something for everyone. I’d almost like to consider the system akin to a sort of Korean tapas.
It’s definitely a very interesting and flavorful-sounding menu with good range:
Rib Eye Tartare, Asian Pear, Scallions, Sesame Soy, Quail Egg
Sesame Cured Salmon, Daikon and Cucumber Julienne, Korean Mustard Aioli
Pumpkin Porridge, Toasted Pine Nuts, Soju Sauteed Dates
Abalone Porridge, Spicy Scallion Salsa, Nori Chiffonade
Pickled Watermelon, Shaved Pork Belly, Daikon Sprouts, Kimchee Citrus Vinaigrette
Pear and Shiso Salad, Flashed Rib Eye, Shabu Sesame Dressing
Mung Bean Pancakes, Ginger Soy Vinegar
Filet and King Oyster Roulade, Mushroom Soy Reduction
Korean Peppers, Lobster Mousse, Pimento Oil
With some simple math it’s apparent that the prix fixe menus are a good value as compared to ordering the items individually. And hey – don’t let me assume you’d never be able to put away 12 courses if not for the prix fixe option – take pictures and get back to me on that write-up. Color me impressed. (Okay fine, I guess you could have a friend along.)
And if you’re feeling more like a midday treat, there are new offerings including the â€œBibim Box,â€ the Korean version of the classic Japanese lunchbox with choice of 1 Korean BBQ menu item, appetizer, salad, banchan, rice, and beverageÂ for only $9.95. Other lunch options include:
Spicy Sesame Spinach, topped with Twice Fried Pork Belly, Mushroom Medley, and Fried Potato Noodles, drizzled with a Warm Soy Leek Vinaigrette – $10
SeoulTown Poâ€™ Boy made with Sesame Shrimp Tempura in a soft French Roll with Cilantro Slaw and Chile Tomatoes – $12, pictured above
I still have yet to check Gyenari’s new menu out but with Culver City so nearby my workplace, you can expect a follow-up in the near future!